Accelerated Settlement – Benefits & Challenges

Accelerated Settlement

Do you know that as per the traditional method of executing trade between two parties, there is usually a time lag between the trade and the settlement date? While the trade date is the day when the terms of the trade are agreed, the settlement date is the day when the seller receives the proceeds. Now, the time lag between these two can prove risky for both parties. This time lag has been shortened over the past few decades. The settlement date is now two days after the trade date. This is widely known as the T+2 settlement cycle, but now things are changing at a breakneck pace.

In the present scenario, the UK government is soon implementing the T+1 settlement cycle in the footsteps of the United States of America. This is the accelerated settlement, and to ensure the successful implementation of the same, the HM Treasury has already established a task force as a part of the Edinburgh Reforms. Now, are you aware of the benefits and challenges of this accelerated settlement? If not, read the blog and get all your answers.  

Benefits of Accelerated Settlement

Cost reduction

A shorter settlement cycle reduces the need for margins in trade execution. Now, what are these margins? These are actually collateral or funds that both parties set aside. So that in case of a default, they can use these margins to cover their potential losses. So, when the settlement cycle is short, there is a low probability of any adverse market conditions that can impact the trade during this short period. Hence, the need for margins is also reduced leading to significant cost reduction.

Speedy modernisation

Market participants are still reluctant to invest in technology to make the most of the automation capabilities that technology brings with it. However, accelerated settlement may act as a catalyst for these market participants to do the same and thus can be a speedy modernisation that can enhance their post-trade processes. Moreover, speedy modernisation also means operational savings for these market participants.

Improved utilisation of collaterals

Collateral used to secure margins, can be utilised more effectively when the settlement period is shorter. The faster turnover of trades means that the same collateral can be used for multiple transactions in a shorter period, enhancing collateral utilisation.

Challenges of Accelerated Settlement

Intensive preparation

All parties involved in the trade must be extremely well-prepared to embrace accelerated settlement. For the same, buyers must have their finances in order, and sellers must have their legal and property documents ready. Obviously, all these things need intensive preparation, and this is quite a challenge.

Increased pressure

As with accelerated settlement, the timeline is concise, which means a lot of pressure is created on all the involved parties, including lenders, solicitors and real estate agents. Such tremendous pressure could lead to making rushed decisions. Also, this increased pressure may cause a lack of due diligence in property inspections, financial assessments, and so on, which is a challenge tough to overcome.

High implementation cost

There is a high probability that the cost of implementing this accelerated settlement will exceed the expectations of businesses. This may act as a barrier to operating business in the UK and decrease the UK’s competitiveness. The government is well aware of this challenge. Hence, they are putting a lot of emphasis on first understanding the experience of US investors.

For UK residents, it is crucial to consider all these risks and challenges with the help of experienced financial advisors so that they can successfully navigate the complexities of this settlement.

As a UK-based accountancy firm, we are highly committed to assisting you in understanding and leveraging the latest market trends. So, don’t hesitate to contact us.